Interesting Wedding customs from around the World: The Korean Squid Facemask

No you’re not imagining things. He is wearing a dried squid on his face.

I’ve been blessed to have taught English internationally and that for the past 9 years I’ve taught at a local San Diego international ESL school. I’m always amazed at the awesome, kirky and sometimes, downright hilarious customs that my students have shared with me over the years.

The Haam ceremony in Korea takes the cake for the best photo ops.

The Groom and his male family, close friends and/or groomsmen get dressed up in their best suits and strap on dried squid masks to their faces. They form a procession to the brides home to announce the grooms intention to marry her through the gift of the ham or gift box with important symbolic items inside like silk and jewelry. The ham or gift box can never touch the floor and must be carried by one of the participants, called the hamjinabi, on their back.

The group would shout merrily and jokingly through the streets to highlight the Groom’s approach, “Buy some Ham” or “Ham for sale.” Some traditions state that money was thrown at their feet in the path of the brides home to encourage them to keep walking

One tradition states that the brides’ family must pay money to the group per step, sing a song for them upon arrival or do a favor for the group members in return for their travel. Then they must be treated to a feast or dinner where the brides’ family will open the ham and examine the gifts.

http://www.asianinfo.org/asianinfo/korea/cel/marriage.htm

It’s Shower and Bachelorette Party Time

Not to freak you out or anything but it’s Mid-May.

and the clock is ticking…

Some of you Maid of Honors who will be in weddings this summer have maybe been putting off the shower and/or bachelorette party planning and I’m here to tell you- It’s Time.

Don’t believe those bachelorette/bachelor party images you see on TV where people are partying the night before the wedding. In reality, this seldom happens. Hello, rehearsal dinner? Remember, the early morning wake up call to get your hair and makeup done?

Most people have the bridal shower at least 1-3 months before the wedding and the bachelorette party 2 weeks to 2 months before the wedding.

Believe me, the month of the wedding is jam packed for the bride with last minute arrangements, stress, and events like the bridesmaids luncheon, rehearsal dinner and final bridal fittings. The last thing she wants to do is worry about going to a bachelorette party.

Make sure you ask the bride, but it may work out better to have it more than a few weeks before the wedding. Even just for safety’s sake. It may take time for her to recover from your Girls Night Out. What if the tan she gets from the tanning/spa day you’ve arranged goes awry? She’ll need a few weeks to get rid of the color (think Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars).  Or heaven forbid, she gets injured rocking out in high heels at the bar. Give plenty of buffer space between the party and her wedding.

http://www.calgaryluxuryweddings.com/the-perfect-glow/

http://www.calgaryluxury
weddings.com/the-perfect-glow/

Check out bffbridesmaid.com for great ideas on bachelorette parties and party packages.

Weekday Wedding Workshops: Money Saving Tips and WeddingTax Deductions

Our first informational workshop was a night of delicious food, fun games, great info and of course, sushi rolling..

One of our great couples enjoying a sushi bonding experience!Sushi on a Roll graciously hosted our free event for a very small group of brides, grooms and members of the wedding party. It was intimate and we all enjoyed lots of conversation, advice, commiserating and games.

Our guest speaker, Wedding Planner Carmin from carmindesign.com, was her usual bubbly self and gave us awesome tips on how to save money and get tax deductions on wedding expenses. The brides really appreciated the one one one Q + A with her and all the free advice, tips and tricks she gave. She stayed well past our end time to answer all questions and to give one particular couple lots of design advice since she is not only a planner but a florist by trade.

Jeff from Sushi on a Roll and Andy from sdstreeteats.com served up some serious sushi, braised short ribs and more. Jeff offered our workshop attendents 15% off of his already affordable catering service or venue booking. Sushi on a Roll is not a restaurant, but a private event venue which is awesome because there aren’t any restrictions like at a normal restaurant. So, you can have your bachelorette party or rehearsal dinner here and it’s completely private with private parking even. You can customize your menu, bring in a cigar bar and even set up the Wii and/or karaoke for the kids so they can enjoy too.

Bachelor Party? They can even get the “Sushi Models” to serve sushi on.

My friend had her bridesmaid/groomsmen luncheon (a thank you to their bridal party) on their yacht which you can rent along with a sushi chef for a day out on the ocean. They can even do the sushi-cooking class on board for you.

SD Street Eats gourmet food truck gave us great ideas for bringing in a private food truck for bachelor parties, for the very end of weddings when everyone who liquored up needs some food in their bellies before going home. They will pretty much travel anywhere and come at all hours of the night. They customize your menu and can do as casual as street tacos to as gourmet as lobster.

Our big prize winner of the night, Khristina, won a beautiful necklace by our sponsor Cocoon Jewelry.Their Facebook contest ends tomorrow May 15th. The winner will receive a customized set of jewelry in the brides wedding colors for the bridal party and cufflinks for the groomsmen.

Enter at http://www.facebook.com/CocoonJewelry?sk=app_190322544333196

I’m so thankful to our wonderful sponsors and our guest speaker. I had a great time meeting each couple personally and being able to answer all of the questions that have been plaguing them. I cannot recommend Sushi on a Roll enough as a venue. They are such an unknown gem in San Diego.

I’m going to bring my husband there for a sushi rolling class for Father’s Day.. I heard there is a GroupOn for it. Shhh!You didn’t hear that!

In the end.. it’s all about Love

I’ve stepped back a bit from posting and BFFbridesmaid duties in the past few weeks to spend more time with my 3 kids and my husband. Things were getting very off-balance and a very good friend of mine reminded me where my priorities should be and how important it is to make time to make memories, to make sure the family and friends you have know how much you love them and enjoy each day instead of cramming in tasks that ultimately don’t really matter much.

My friend lost his own father and his boss / father figure, Junior Seau in the same month. It was and still is a heavy loss for him.

It made me really think.

Sometimes our day to day lives sweep us away like a great flood of appointments, parties, work, vegging out on the couch, hobbies, sports and we forget to just stop and take account of who and what is around us. We forget to say “I love you” to the dearest ones around us until it is Mother’s day or Christmas. We look ahead towards the future waiting for life to begin when life is already happening all around us.

Especially with wedding planning, I see so many brides get so wrapped up in such small details of the wedding and so stressed out with the bridal party and even their fiancee that they forget that the essence of what they are doing is all… about… love…

Most weddings will not be perfect.

The wedding is only happening if you and your fiancee make it to that day. So be kind and patient and loving to one another.

Bridesmaids, the bride chose you because you are that special.. that important in her life. That is an honor despite whatever little dramas are happening. Never let bridal drama destroy your friendships.

For my friend, today’s reality involves playing over and over in his head his last words and last memories with his loved ones. If, God forbid, the last thing you did or said to a loved one ended up being the very last exchange you had with them. Would you regret your actions/words? Would you be asking yourself if they knew how much you cared about and loved them?

You, unlike my friend, have time to change that.

Who I Am

I’ve struggled with the tone of my posts on the BFFbridesmaid blog because I wanted to be professional as well as informative. However, looking back on my posts I feel like there isn’t as much of the real me as I’d like. Watching a good friend of mine who is a wedding planner, be able to keep her crazy, quirky, kooky personality and still maintain her professionalism and high level of customer satisfaction convinces me that I can still be who I am while providing you with the best resources for brides and bridesmaids alike.

So from here on out you’ll here my thoughts, my recommendations, my advice and of course, awesome and practical resources…Feel free to agree, disagree, add or just let me know what you think..There will be people reading who are at various stages of wedding or event planning (bridal showers, bachelorette parties) who need to hear what mistakes you’ve made (so they can avoid it), tricks you’ve learned and just how it went in general if you are at the end of your journey. Let them hear you. I know I’m not the only one whose goal is to make this the beautiful bonding experience it should be. Let’s all contribute to getting rid of the stress, uncertainty and just plain drama that can come from wedding or pre-wedding event planning!